Clermont officials have met twice with a team from Wilesmith Advertising & Design, out of West Palm Beach, a company whose expertise will be used in a reverse branding process for the city.
The creative team working on the Clermont branding project includes a design director, researcher, strategic planner, public relations specialist and graphic designers, city officials said in a press release.
City Manager Darren Gray said out of all the companies his staff looked at, Wilesmith was chosen because of its insight into and willingness to involve the entire community.
“(Branding) is much more than a logo or tagline,” Gray said. “Wilesmith understands that it is critical to have buy-in from our city council, staff and especially our citizens and business owners. The Wilesmith team is bright and has a talented staff that thinks strategically.
“They have a terrific track record with other Florida cities, they had conducted in-depth research and created a video that told us immediately that they understood what an amazing place Clermont is.”
According to Public Information Officer Doris Bloodsworth, Clermont’s branding process is being conducted differently than most. Instead of the city working with the branding agency first, then holding community forums to get input from residents and businesses, it was done the other way around.
Gray said he wanted to make sure the community knows how much their ideas are valued.
“First, we are fortunate to have a community that is engaged and showed they are eager to share their ideas,” Gray said. “They trusted we would listen and we have.”
Presenting the ideas to Wilesmith has streamlined the branding process, the city manager said.
“Our consultants have never had a city before that came to the table with such a clear sense of its assets and priorities,” Gray said. “We will begin our master planning for the next five to 10 years in a few months. So, the vision that the residents shared last summer will continue to drive the branding and the master planning.”
Gray said that to him, the branding process will boost the city’s economic development and quality of life.
“We want to make sure that we plan for our future in a smart way that ensures there are good jobs for our children and the families that choose Clermont as their home,” Gray said. “By identifying our assets, we can use our resources wisely.”
Bloodsworth said the Wilesmith team may soon present suggestions for a logo, motto and promotion plan.